AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA AND THE CLOSED BORDER
Kabiru Olaitan OGUNKAYODE (Class 2)
Sunday 08 Dec 2019
A TALE OF AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA AND THE CLOSED BORDER
Since time immemorial, dated back to the primitives, the number one trade that levitates a nation and was well recognised then was Agriculture. Every family would always be on the walk in the morning, worked hard on the farm and headed home in the evening with hope of future yield effectiveness. But today, it is another story, a case of love for buildings/infrastructures and hunger increment rate.
Where is our Agriculture?
Agriculture, the path to a life eternal hunger eradication. No matter how brilliant a person might be, no matter how beautiful a nation might look, no matter how best we can all innovate things to suite the world, without Agriculture, it's all going to come to crash in no time. Every man is entitled to 3 square meal daily or less, possibly because of economic challenges they might not be able to champion the course and cost of implementing that idea. In a nation where there is absolutely green land, no excuse at all to make the mouth of the masses sing some foody song. Hnm! Taste good in abstract but yet to beget implementation. It takes only a healthy life to plan a good development or develop a country, and a healthy life is as a result of healthy food, food that comes directly from the soil without any genetical application such as the Genetically Modified Foods (GMO).
Today, constructions everywhere but people are hungry, why, we ask ourselves this question? Every purchased land in a new area has at least a virgin land, and a virgin land is the best you could ever have for suitable agriculture. Do you even know what a virgin land is? I doubt it. A virgin land is a type of land that no activities (both agricultural and non agricultural) had taken ace on it.
People shout about evolution daily, they rant about problem of food and food shortage in their various homes but they've failed to realize that the problem starts from them and surely militating them and their families day by day. A child in the generation of now only wants to be an engineer, a doctor, pharmacist, lawyer, accountant, bank manager and what have you. Nobody wants to be a farmer! Let a child tells his family he wants to be a farmer today, he won't complete the statement before he gets shunned by the family, and we want food for the masses right? We are still in the dream land!
A wise one once said that "the constructions you built today will be shattered by the coming generation when hunger strikes and there is no land to plant."
How many parents have it in mind to make sure that at least a person or two in their respective families learn agriculture apart from what they have dreams for in their lives, how many students are confidently writing their Joint Admission Matriculation Board Exam with Agricultural courses as their first choice, how many scholarships are set permanently for students in various institutions ready to dabble into agriculture fully, how many follow-up outstanding project of final year students of agriculture do we have that can proffer solutions to food shortage in every country, how many identified and certified agriculturist do we have and what are they doing to make the world happy with food, what is the dialogue between these people and the constituted authorities of the government in a country? All thanks to Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta who indirectly imposed agricultural courses on students aiming for tertiary education and other trying tertiary agricultural based universities unseen.
The sustainable development goals talk about hunger eradication (Zero hunger), fine, fantastic job from the United Nations vibrant leaders, but to what degree are we working to achieve the aforementioned through sustainable agriculture and efficient implementation, to what degrees?
Every home has an opportunity to feed the nation!
Let's look at practicable examples; I say, that if we have 2 plots of land, one plot is enough for building and the other for agriculture. We cannot keep saying there is no food, we can only say there is less food, in which we should now try to look into how possibly we could change the less food problems to surplus food advantage. Volunteering to go to farms on Saturdays is not a big deal, either you're working in a world bank or whatever you might have been involved in, a day for agricultural purpose consistently in Nigeria will feed even more than a country. If a community uses 3000 hectares of land for agricultural purpose, especially food, having it in mind that they're feeding the masses through togetherness and ones in decision, hunger will find no space to linger.
Have we ever asked these questions; why do we get food from other country but not in our country, why do we invest in importation rather than exportation, why do we depend on brands from other countries but laugh at our own agricultural based products?
How I wish I could meet one on one with the President and say to him; well-done Mr. President for the closure of border. It was a pain when I heard that we were importing cassava grain into our great country Nigeria, a nation state with greenland and luxuries. I never wanted to mention rice bcause I knew we are acquainted with its importation into our country, which is preposterous.
Wow! Nigerian rice is stony...
We can say that again and again that we have only succeeded in producing stony rice, fine, it is stony but betterof the foreign importation because it contains starch and also last longer after cooking, very sweet and cool to go with ATA DINDIN or cool OBE EFO, EFO ELEGUSI....Name it. Oh, you were expecting me to mention our sauces in English right? Common, enough of that. Can you tell me the Yoruba name for Pizza, chicken & chips, candy, icecream, spaghetti...We all know how we roll with these things right? Let's call a spade a spade, let's levitate our own produce. I noticed how people fake labels as "made in China, USA, Japan, Italy...
What about made in Nigeria?
If we produce what we eat and package it all for exportation to the aforementioned countries I don't think it is bad. It interests me that many of the things sold back to our country are things bought from our country and rebranded into finished goods, and we are always glad to look at the beautiful design with the inscription of made in this, made in that country.
In Arigbajo where I stay lives a man called Baba Abdullah; this man has 3 plots of land, he used a plot for house building and the other two plots for agricultural purpose. He would take his children to farm in the morning and evening every Saturdays and Sundays, and evening every weekdays. Since I have known this family, they've never bought anything outside their farm produce to eat. They practice mixed cropping and eat from soil source and sauce everyday. In the evening they sell some farm produce at Arigbajo market.They're a lot healthy and strong with zero malnutrition. My father has a 25×25 meter square land at the backyard of our house where he practices mixed cropping as a retired personnel, he is still like the teen if you see him; because he eats directly from the soil produce. We don't eat second hand produce, we eat as we grow. Cassava, maize, pawpaw, Chorchorus olitorus, Amaranthus, Celosia, banana, yam, among others... These are what we grow and we eat before thinking of selling to other people to benefit.
We can't solve the problem of food through expression of mouth but implementation on the field. Agriculture has meet up with modern technology if we can't use the hoe and cutlass means. We have mechanized agriculture and automated agriculture where your energy will be zero spent.
Yes, it is also incumbent on the federal government to see to the elaborate farming method which will harness skilled farmers of the nation with a solemn view to producing enough food for the masses. Every home should endeavor to practice agriculture with a volunteer or two of the family members. More Agricultural Institutions should be encouraged to join force with the federal government in realization of the excessive food production campaign. Farm practical year should be a strong avenue in Federal Universities of Agriculture to ease food production and to produce skilled and modern farmers who will provide instant solutions to problems facing food production in agriculture.
It is better we go back to the source and be zero hungry than to stay in the present and starve to death.
Let's get agriculture working again, let's move it, let's equip and resource together!
Remember, Don't Dilly Dally...
I am, Ogunkayode, Kabiru Olaitan (Mr. Egalitarian)
Your No. 1 Global Emerging Public Speaker, A Youth & Child Advocate, Content Creator, Media Presenter, Corporate Event Host, Transformational Coach and A Serial Volunteer.
Indefatigably Hoping For The Best Globally.
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